This is definitely the case for Assisi. While I remember liking it, after seeing the pictures again today, I was in awe at just how beautiful it was. While Turin was the first city outside of Rome we visited more than a year ago, Assisi was the first town.
We went for a weekend last December after we finally had our car and it really was the perfect weekend getaway. I remember how I spent the entire drive snapping pictures of the scenery (Umbria is just as beautiful as the more popular Tuscany). I don't think I was ever so enthusiastic about a drive since then, obviously a product of it being the first drive outside of Rome.
|The sheep just lounging around...|
Assisi is a small, charming, medieval town in the region of Umbria. It is the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francesco d'Assisi is not only the town's main sight, but also part of the UNESCO listing along with the historic center. Most of the main sights in Assisi are churches, like the Basilica of Santa Chiara with the tomb of St. Clare and Santo Stefano, one of the oldest churches in the region.
|Our first look of Assisi.|
|We arrived when the sun was setting and this was the splendid view from the Basilica of St. Francis. #nofilterneeded.|
But, really, you don't come to Assisi to stuff your days with things to do.
Assisi is more for the slow travel. You walk around the town, enjoy the small alleys and streets, and maybe wander into a church or walk around a piazza. Really, the only thing we saw that weekend was the Basilica of St. Francesco (and it pains me to say that we didn't even see the most important part, the crypt where he is buried, because we just didn't see the lower basilica), the Basilica of Santa Chiara, and the medieval castle, Rocca Maggiore.
|Another picture of that splendid sunset, one of my favorite.|
|The nativity scene, or presepe, outside of the Basilica.|
|The streets of Assisi dressed up for the holidays.|
|A lonely street at night. The town was almost empty at this time of the year.|
|The view the next morning driving up to Rocca Maggiore.|
|From the castle....|
|Another one from the castle with the Basilica in the background.|
|How gorgeous is this?!?|
It was more than enough to land Assisi in my favorite towns of Italy list.